communion tableWe come together, not around doctrines we hold in common, but out of our desire to live faithfully together.

In worship we recognize that we do not know everything, as we seek to expand knowledge and share mystery.  From Sunday announcements about the activities of the church, through prayers, singing, scripture, sermon, sharing of God’s peace, to informal conversations during fellowship hour at the end of worship, we affirm God’s love.  We gather in prayer and praise around the communion table on the first Sunday of the month and we support each other as followers of Jesus seeking to promote justice in response to God’s love.

Our Sunday Worship is at 10:30 a.m.  On Sunday mornings we provide easy underground free parking during worship.  Child care for all ages begins at 10:15 am on most Sunday mornings.

First Church generally follows traditional patterns of Christian worship–drawing upon common lectionary readings from the Bible, offering classic and contemporary prayers and readings by laity and clergy, listening to sermon reflections, and sharing in many other ways.  We honor the season of Advent leading up to Christmas and value the Lenten reflection as we  prepare for the message of Easter.  We involve children at the beginning of Sunday worship before they go to educational programs, and we encourage children to participate in our monthly communion with other members of their family.  Everyone is welcome to partake of communion–persons grounded in other religious traditions and persons with no religious tradition.  We say, with many United Church of Christ congregations, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”

On Wednesdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. people gather in our small upstairs chapel for what we call a “Break Away Meditation.”  No matter your faith or religion, you are invited to come to the church for a time of silence and sit with others in meditation.  Thirty minutes once a week for meditation, silence, and prayer is not much, but it can make a big difference.

From time to time we hold special services in the Taize tradition — blending silence, readings and music.  We are always exploring new ways to embrace the wonder of worship.  We believe that God is still speaking to us and we take time to listen and respond.

Three things are listed below:
Basic Information about what is happening on Sundays
Reflections and a link to the entire text of the sermon preached last Sunday
The list of Second Sunday Offerings we are supporting in 2013 with links to more information

Sunday, April 23, 2017Second Sunday of Easter, Andy Raver, Lucille Dickinson, and Dwight Davis lead an Easter meditationRead more...
In Times Like Thesejames-ross-ii In Times Like These. A sermon by the Rev. James D. Ross II, Sunday, November 13, 2016.  “In times like these,” following the election, James Ross, Social Justice Community Organizer, preaches. “I think this is our path forward.  We don't know exactly what lies ahead, but we can commit to using everything we have to bring about the world we want.  Together, we can build an America that no one has to say is not America to them.  I believe we are that powerful.” Read more...
Radical SolitudesolitudeSolitude is time allotted to give ourselves a break from the busyness of life.  It’s time for us to reconnect with God.  And to reconnect with who we are, and who we are being called to be.  In our modern lives, solitude can seem illusory, fleeting, or always the last thing on the endless list of things we need to get to.  But without solitude, we prevent ourselves from reconnecting with God and reflecting upon who God is calling us to be in our lives.  Solitude is also radical. It is a radical response to a society that is constantly demanding more of us – more time, more money, more energy.  So instead of listening to these loud and conflicted pressures from society, let us set aside time to listen to God, alone.Read more...
Your Voice, Your VotevoteHow are you preparing your mind and heart for the election this year? When we step into the voting booth on Tuesday, November 8, we will participate in what Reverend Jeremiah Rankin, the second pastor here at First Church (1869-1884), called the “Divinity of the Ballot.” The significance of the vote is an expression of faith and deep hope cast in the “interest of humanity, interest of a free nation.” Decades after Rankin, another famous member of First Congregational, President Calvin Coolidge (joining First Church in 1923), declared “The whole system of American Government rests on the ballot box.  Unless citizens perform their duties there, such system of government is doomed” (April 19, 1926).Read more...
Reflections on The Call Into God’ FutureFour building-justResponses to our 150th Celebration:  Barbara Hayes began with a call to worship that reflected her history with First Church as a long-time member.  Meg Maguire presented a reflection and suggested future steps.  Dwight Davis offered a charge about change to the congregation based on “A New Jerusalem.”  Sid Fowler preached on “Everything Must Change “ and led us in prayer.  Check out these responses from our inspiring 150th final celebration.    Read more...
Everything Must Change

Everything Must Change A meditation by Sidney D. Fowler based on Psalm 90 and the song “Everything Must Change” for the 150th Anniversary Celebration, November 15, 2015. First Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington DC

I. That song “Everything Must Change,’” that Kenya just sang for us, it’s a melancholy song. And Psalm 90, that [...]Read more...

Can This Be HomeHousingSermon by James D. Ross II, November 8, 2015.  I love Sweet Honey in the Rock. Their words are power. They challenge us. They force us to think about who we are and our space in the world.  And I want to ask us to consider: how do we think about freedom in relation to home?  Many of us find ourselves rushing home at the end of the work day. We may work in environments where we don't feel fully embraced. Perhaps we expend a lot of effort trying to avoid fights with our co-workers. Maybe we have to interact with people who treat us with utter disrespect. Or maybe, just maybe, we are simply bored.  We put in our hours, punch out, brave the traffic and, finally, we are home. Oh freedom! Oh freedom over me!Read more...
Living, Giving Your Life AwayAll SaintsThe more time passes, more and more I say good-bye. And every All Saints day marks more and more of those good-byes said to those who have died. When we share communion, we will call out the names of those who have died – those we continue to remember and to miss, those we continue to love and hold in our memories and hearts.  On this All Saints, what do we living folk do, what do we living sinners and saints do, when we are surrounded by the company of Saints, with all those who have gone before us? What is called from us when we speak from our hearts the names we speak this morning?Read more...
Living Jesus and/or Living Jesus?

Living Jesus

Living Jesus? One of the challenges of First Congregational United Church of Christ today is how we talk about who we are -- and about that “Christ” part -- in a diverse world of faith. Today, I wonder: What does the name “Christ” mean to each of us? In what way is Christ “alive” in who we are and what we do in the world? In what ways is Christ “alive” in the world around us?Read more...
One Loaf of Bread? Enough Already!I haveBread known many folks who have told me they just can’t take Communion. When it comes to this little meal of bread and juice, it’s not for them.... Communion is full of misunderstandings. I’ve experienced them. Yet, at Communion we can meet the living presence of God, and be fed and nourished, and find company among those who long to taste and experience the goodness of God. Today’s reading is about such misunderstandings. It too is about bread and Jesus.Read more...
A Faith Filled with Empty CaloriesI finally appreciate how intentional a place like camp can be in forming youth. This camp had a motto, “Help the Other Fellow”, had virtues they held up each year at a candlelight ceremony, and they also had this passage towards adulthood embodied in the trip to Algonquin. Everything was pointing us towards maturing and becoming self sufficient, responsible, connecting with nature, and with one another.  This was formation.Read more...
Questioning, Believing, and Beloving GodQuetionsA meditation by Sidney D. Fowler based on James 5:13-20 and Mark 1:21-28 for September 27, 27, 2015.  One of the virtues that we often pride ourselves around here at First Church is the ability to ask more questions than offer unquestionable answers. That is especially the case when it is a matter of faith.Read more...
Together to ServeServant LeaderThis year marks 150 years of a relationship with a neighbor across the street. While we celebrate 150 years on this corner, St Patrick’s Catholic Church celebrates 221 years. Together, “us and them” for 150 years. I wonder about that history. Yet this week, Pope Francis’ arrival to 10th and G, to this very corner, invites us to re-examine that relationship and draws us together. This week, from our windows, we will watch and wonder what is God doing? What is God doing here in the presence of Pope Francis?Read more...
February Second Sunday Offering: Thrive DCThrive DCSunday, February 12.  Thrive DC works to prevent and end homelessness by providing vulnerable individuals a comprehensive range of services -- meals, showers, laundry, and more -- to help stabilize their lives.  Thrive DC is comprehensive, professionally staffed, bilingual, and is unique in providing the last available safety net for people facing economic crisis and housing instability while also providing the first step toward independence for people experiencing extended periods of homelessness.   Go to their website at www.thrivedc.org for more information.Read more...
January Second Sunday OfferingsurjSecond Sunday Offering, January 8.  The January Second Sunday Offering will be dedicated to two local organizations focused on racial justice work:  Black Lives Matter DC (BLM-DC) and Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), with 60 percent of proceeds going to BLM-DC and 40 percent to SURJ.  Black Lives Matter DC is a collective of organizers, activists, and artists in the District of Columbia who work to combat anti-blackness and racialized oppression.  SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) DC is a chapter of the national SURJ organization, which seeks to organize white people to dismantle white supremacy and support racial justice movements.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering: July 10Invest in the VisionJuly’s Second Sunday Offering supports Strengthen the Church (STC), an offering of the United Church of Christ to reimagine and build the future of the UCC.  How does God call our congregations to be the "church" in new ways?  Your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches, and help develop the spiritual lives of our youth and young adults.  STC funds will also be used to award grants to help congregations communicate the "God is still speaking" message.Read more...
Offering to Benefit Peace Studies CenterPrayer and Action for ColombiaThis month's offering will go to support the ecumenical Peace Studies Center where our mission worker, Rev. Michael Joseph, will be assigned for his third term in Colombia.  Michael, who preached at First Church on March 13, will play a coordinating role at a new Peace Studies Center where he will continue to work for human rights, justice and peace with churches across Colombia.  Michael's third term will come as the country starts the very hard work of implementing the nearly final peace agreement to end 50 years of armed conflict.Read more...
Second Sunday OfferingInterfaith Power and LightApril Second Sunday Offering, Sunday, April 10.  April’s Second Sunday Offering will be split between two important environmental stewards.  Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light provides a “religious response to climate change” by working with hundreds of congregations of all faiths across Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia to save energy, go green, and respond to climate change.  Anacostia Watershed Society protects and restores the Anacostia River and its watershed communities by cleaning the water, recovering the shores, and honoring its heritage through advocacy, education and stewardship.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering: One Great Hour of SharingOne Great Hour Second Sunday Offering on March 13, One Great Hour of Sharing.  March's Second Sunday Offering supports One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), an offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in 138 countries. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering: Responding to the Flint Public Health CrisisFlint WaterIn February, our Second Sunday Offering will raise funds to help Flint, Michigan, where residents (children, especially) have been exposed to unsafe lead levels in their drinking water. These funds will purchase water filters and water bottles for the people of Flint. In doing this, we are in solidarity with Woodside Church (UCC) of Flint and their leader, Rev. Deborah Conrad. Woodside is at the center of the humanitarian response to this public health crisis. The youth will be learning more about this crisis in Sunday School.Read more...
Special Offering for Thrive DC on November 15ThriveOur congregation will celebrate its 150th Anniversary on Sunday, November 15. As part of the recognition of our past, we will have a special offering during worship service for Thrive DC. Originally founded by our congregation in 1979 as the Dinner Program for Homeless Women, Thrive DC became its own nonprofit organization several years ago and works to prevent and end homelessness by providing vulnerable individuals a comprehensive range of services to help stabilize their lives.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering, October 11, 2015Unexpected PlacesThe October Second Sunday Offering supports Neighbors in Need (NIN), a UCC offering to support ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to addressing systemic injustice.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering, September 13, 2015CasaThe September Second Sunday offering was received on behalf of CASA de Maryland. CASA de Maryland serves to create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities. In addition to engaging schools and organizing communities, CASA provides services including vocational training, ESL classes, and legal and health services to immigrants throughout the DMV area.Read more...
Second Sunday Offering August 9, 2015Pathways to HousingOur August Second Sunday offering will go to help support an exciting program in Washington—Pathways to Housing, DC. More than 475 individuals participate in their Housing First program. These individuals all receive permanent housing, intensive long-term treatment and support services to help them remain in housing and be successful in their recoveries.Read more...